There hasn’t been a follow up album more talked about than Royal Headache’s for quite some time. And, since ordering my copy online I feel a little like I’m wading in after many glowing reviews have already sung its’ praises, I don’t know if anyone even needs my unprofessional opinion at this stage, but here it is; ‘High’ is 10 tracks of pure bloody joy. They’ve written an album that’s raw, direct and fun, reflecting on reality in contrast to fantasy.
The opener called ‘Fantasy’ explores this idea looking at everyday life being in a band compared to the mythology of a “rock ‘n’ roll life style”. Chugging, hyper guitars, saccharine keys, racing beats and a rubbery bass set the tone for the album, balancing total euphoria with a sense of restlessness. This is pursued through the album, particularly when we reach ‘Carolina’. Hall hollers “now your future passions do you harm, you know you should have never left the farm, somebody save her”, over fuzzed out guitars (Law) and bass (Joe) held up by solid pop fuelled beats (Shortty). This is the first track to get a video treatment off ‘High’, directed by Damian Sawyers and catered by Lawrence’s Mum the video brilliantly shows the boundless energy that the record is chock full of. ‘Garbage’ is another song on repeat, I could listen to that heady bass riff all day – “you’re as low as they come, you’re not punk, you’re just scum, you’re garbage,” Hall protests in his fiercly raspy register. Released via Distant and Vague Recordings in Australia/NZ then What’s Your Rupture everywhere else the LP seems to have disappeared pretty quickly, and it’s easy to see why. Leaving just as fast as they charged in ‘Electric Shock’ certainly captures the manic pace on ‘High’, it shows the need for focus in a state of agitation, existing in the middle somewhere is what informs these songs; and the desire to breakaway, flip over and start again.
Listen on Royal Headache's BANDCAMP